Tagged: John Boscawen

The guts to do what’s right?

ACT party stalwart Trevor Loudon, who runs the New Zeal blog, reports on the fate of the “anti-gang patches” bill. Amidst a busy news week I had initially overlooked the Herald’s coverage of the fate of the bill, which saw it passed 62-59. For ACT, Rodney Hide, John Boscawen and David Garrett both voted in favour of the bill, while Heather Roy and Roger Douglas voted against it. In March, Hide had made the bill a conscience vote after divisions amongst the caucus had become apparent. On hearing that Rodney Hide had reversed his original opposition to the bill, Loudon...

Conference 2009: the broad church?

If you work in a large organisation, I’m sure you’ll be familiar with the “general reminder” e-mail or memo sent out to all staff. “Could all staff please remember that in future….?” or “Just a friendly note that….” and so on. In my experience, these messages are usually directed at just one or two colleagues, but are sent out in a cloaked fashion to all employees in order to avoid broaching the specific issue with the person in question. Like the not-so-subtle reminders to employees, ACT’s decision to adopt a conscience-vote model for all bills is a general one, but...

Conference 2009: preview

ACT’s Annual Conference takes place next weekend. I won’t be attending this year, so would appreciate reports from anyone who is. ACT has always held its conference early in the year and in post-election years this gives it a good opportunity to report back to members on the election outcome. In 2009, I imagine the mood will be very much self-congratulatory, perhaps even surpassing the 1997 “Victory Conference” after ACT made it into Parliament for the first time. There is good cause for this: not only were the 5 MPs ACT gained at the 2008 election at the top end...

ACT out of cash and out of time?

ACT has a reputation for being a party of the rich, a reputation which the party has often denied. There is some evidence for this, as I found out in my dissertation: ACT’s declared election spending decreased by over forty per cent over the elections from 1996 to 2005, although the decline was not uniform. In 1999, the figure dropped by sixty percent compared with 1996, to $657,889.14. Donations recovered to allow spending of $1,625,558.79 in 2002, but slumped again in 2005, when the party spent only $966,614.72 (Electoral Commission 2003). Furthermore, [then party president Catherine] Judd (2006) cited lack...

Attack – and be attacked

Recently ACT has launched some scathing attacks on both Labour and National, in the hope of tarring both with the same brush and showing ACT out to be the only option for something different. To take just one example, from last week: It’s clear to us that the problem for New Zealand is economic as well as financial. It’s also clear that the political response from John Key and Michael Cullen has been both woeful and irresponsible. Their policy promises will make tough times worse. ACT can keep chipping away on these attacks, but its capacity to be heard is...

ACT campaign launch

I’m sure most readers will be aware that ACT launched its election campaign with an event at Alexandra Park in Auckland on Sunday. Political party election launches in New Zealand do not give off “bounces”, as is always hoped for after the Democratic and Republican conventions in the United States. Indeed, while the US conventions are technically necessary, in order to nominate the candidate, the NZ affairs are pure show. Perhaps the best that a small party like ACT can hope for from its launch is to rally its supporters into working extra hard for the next four weeks. With...

Rodney Hide on Radio Live and owning up to being a right-wing party

Today I was fortunate enough to tune into Radio Live just after the 1pm news to hear that Rodney Hide was going to be hosting the afternoon slot (1-4pm) solo. Last week reports to this blog said that he had been paired with Willie Jackson in a left-right battle. I was able to listen until 2 o’clock and I have to say that Radio Live made an inspired choice. It’s hard to imagine any other sitting MP being offered the chance to host his own programme for three hours, although having said that I recall Radio Live hired John Tamihere...

John Boscawen, the Electoral Finance Act and ACT

There have been a number of letters to the editor in newspapers recently on John Boscawen, who has been leading a campaign against the Electoral Finance Bill (since yesterday the Electoral Finance Act). Take this letter for example, from the Christchurch Press last week: Is this democracy? If you or I want to have our say, we can write to the editor. Maximum 150 words, may get published, but odds are it won’t, may be edited. John Boscawen (sword and shield of democracy), just writes a fat cheque for another ad campaign. Publication guaranteed. Money talks and he is spending...

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